What's Wrong With EVE Online?


They want to know, so I'm going to tell them.

The game is not fun. This is the core problem. It's not a matter of it being cryptic. I have succesfully played dwarf fortress, I can handle cryptic. I cannot handle a complete lack of gameplay.


Progress Quest


Typical EVE Online Gameplay
The central activity in EVE appears to be waiting for progress bars to fill up or checking off list boxes or straight up doing nothing at all while you travel from point A to point B to check off a box or fill up a progress bar. I have never seen a game with so little user interaction required. To go somewhere you click once and wait for minutes. To mine something you click once and wait for minutes. To shoot someone you click once and wait for minutes. You can play other games while playing this game. All of these mechanics can be made to be fun. There are whole genres about shooting space ships. I have recently spent many hours playing a game that is just about mining . MMO Devs seem to be afraid to make games actually be fun. As if requiring the player to activate their nervous system will scare away a core demographic of stat grinding zombies.

When judging the gameplay merits of an MMO, you have to consider what it would be like without the MMO trappings. Would anyone play this if it was a single player game? If a single player space trading game was released and the tutorial mission was "Fly to space station B and back" and that trip took 13 minutes (I timed it) of zero user interaction, what would the metacritic score look like? Thought exercises like this quickly reveal that EVE Online is utterly dependent on Skinnerian loyalty schemes to function. It is not viable as a game.


One of these dots is your home prison.
The technology is sound. Vast regions of space are rendered at appropriate scale, there are nebulae and stars, hundreds of worlds - it seems endless. But the reality is that you exist on a connected graph. You can only go from node to node. You are trapped on a system of rails. Destinations, no matter how impressive their 3D model may be, serve only as list dispensaries - thinly veiled SQL entries. The result is a startling claustrophobia - you feel utterly trapped by vacuum. Your brain starves for input. You are not flying free, you are writhing in sensory deprived agony.

Incarna


Top: Oh, nice; Bottom: Oh.
The latest update to EVE includes an avatar creator. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to give it a try. I like avatar creators. Walking around on a space station and buying space ships sounds like fun.

The incarna avatar creator is truly world class. The interface for shaping your character is intuitive - you click and drag directly on the character. Far better than the usual array of sliders. There is room for customization and most of the combinations still look good - avoiding the wonky-face disease so many others suffer from.

The tech is impressive as well - nice lighting, shiny shaders, self shadowing - it looks great... until you get in game where none of that applies. This is somewhat baffling since the in-game scene is virtually identical to the character creator scene - one character with the addition of some metal walls.

Wait, one character? That's right after years of development, famed MMO developer CCP couldn't quite get a handle on the "more than one player in a room" part of the puzzle and decided to punt on that feature. You are walking around in a room by yourself. Walking. Because even a light jog would set up unrealistic pacing expectations for the rest of the game. Even changing directions is sluggish.

Perhaps it isn't fair compare the controls to an action game like Mass Effect, but the difference is night and day. Incarna is an FPS made by flight sim enthusiasts.


Regulatory Capture

I read that there is a player elected council that interacts directly with CCP and the current council president is the former leader of goon fleet. This is awesome and kind of hilarious to read about from the outside but what it means is that the inmates are running the asylum.

EVE, like many MMOs, seems to be catering to a strange sect of people who like to play games that aren't fun. Judging by the size of their television sets, it may be a viable market.


Comments
Reactor Worker2011-12-07 21:29:23
Even with a friend "egging" me on to play it I don't think I got quite as far as you did. Too much commitment, too little fun.

Perhaps worst of all, the trailers always show enormous capital ships and huge fleet vs fleet combat but the player starts in a tiny ship and will rarely see anything close to massive combat.
Gallente2011-12-08 01:45:14
Stopped playing... um... working in it years ago. It's not a game it's a job.
5-year Eve Vet2011-12-10 13:24:49
I can absolutely understand being frustrated starting out in Eve. The experience of a new player is utterly shit. I think a lot of people come in expecting to just follow a course prescribed by the game and have fun doing it. If you are crazy then you might have some fun for a week or so. The real fun requires work and the drive to say "This looks fun. I'm going to make that happen." It also requires playing with others.

I was pretty bored after about a month of playing until I joined Eve University and started flying with people I could recognize and who were willing to show me the ropes. I then moved out to zero security space (free-for-all PvP area) and joined a big alliance. It can be incredibly thrilling to fight out there. It's not all like the trailers but there are certainly moments where you feel like you're in one as you're dodging enemy fleets, blowing up someone's stuff, or mashing the warp button to save your ship you've saved up to buy.

Eve isn't for everyone but it bothers me a little bit when people say "Eve isn't fun. What are all these psychopaths doing with their time?" We're making Eve fun.

I would also add it sounds like you fell into the trap of using autopilot everywhere. The tutorial doesn't really tell you but you can manually do each jump and it will go a lot faster since you end every warp right on the jump gate instead of an agonizing 15km off.
kompressor2011-12-10 19:46:49
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80622110/

I bet these people had an unsatisfying experience with their hobby, but you can clearly see that now that they are connected to a community, it is a lot more rewarding and interesting to them. They are making punching themselves in the dick fun.
leit2011-12-14 10:25:42
"To go somewhere you click once and wait for minutes. To mine something you click once and wait for minutes. To shoot someone you click once and wait for minutes. You can play other games while playing this game."

I haven't played EVE for about 3 years now, but unless it has changed dramatically after that, I think you are playing EVE wrong. AKA carebearing in empire "safe"space. EVE is (or at least was) all about pvp, in multiple layers. There is no way you can PvP just by pressing one button and waiting. You will need to follow several intel channels and your voice comms from your scouts, commander or roaming team, depending on your role in your fleet and fleet composition. Those that do not pay attention will end up losing their ships much more often than others.
Kachie2011-12-25 22:51:23
I play Eve off and on... I've played a little out in Nullsec and it can be fun if you have the right fleet next to you. It's not all bad, but it can be time consuming
Kradle2012-01-13 22:39:51
I'm not going to lie. EVE can generally be very boring if you don't know how to do everything exactly right. I hated this game when I first tried it. In fact, I came back to buy an account 3 years later. But the main reason I like EVE is the diversity and the community. EVE is exactly like a game of chess;just with space ships. You can have two of the same ships but it depends on the specific fit each one has. that will determine the outcome of the winner. This, along with the free-will to do whatever you please to do in EVE, is what I find the interesting aspect of the game. The other is the community. I like EVE because of the(mainly)mature group of players. Trials don't really count because most of them are 9 year-olds who can't afford to buy or play the game. This game is different from other popular MMOs for 1 thing: You need a brain to play it. Now most people think it's pretty stupid to play a game and actually have to think to enjoy it but it's good fun. Plus, when you win a fight you feel a lot smarter than your opponent in the end.
Bisjac2012-03-05 09:54:34
The standard fanboy defence usually does sound like this "well you need to play it more, the fun stuff is later, you have to put more time into it" or similar lines.
games are allowed to be boring for only about 10 minutes when you are in a tutorial and there are story setting scenes. if it takes any longer, the developers have failed. the requirement for fun shouldnt be to "play more"
tedsc2013-02-19 05:52:47
I played years ago and stopped because I was interested in the MMO economy but not PVP. Once you get far enough along you cannot really progress any further without venturing into 0 sec space or joining a corp. I want to interact with real people economically in a game but I don't want to cope with headsets and social requirements. If I play with real people it will be with people I know in real life. These were the frustrations I felt when I left.

I am now a little interested in returning but not if I have to start from scratch.
JD2013-03-20 17:01:13
"What's wrong with EVE Online [it's not the game I, as the author would choose to play, so you shouldn't either. In fact you're a bad person if you enjoy it!]" ..... "Standard fanboys defen[s]e ....Games are allowed to be boring for 10 minutes..." So who decides which game is boring, and for how long? Why not just say "I tried it. It wasn't for me."

So... ummm what's with all the hate from the non-EVE fans? As a non-Mass Effect 2 fan (loved 1, hated 2) I don't think less of those who loved it. Good for them! It's a game that they enjoyed! I'll never understand why, however. And I don't care to. So just man up, let your balls drop, and accept the fact that other people might find things fun that you have no interest in and will never understand. So... how did my folks phrase that when I was young... oh right. "Oh, grow up."
lMP2013-06-28 05:26:38
This game isn't for casualgamer plebs.
This is too hardcore for your everyday dumbass.

If you had hard time getting used to WOW this isn't for you.

On the other hand if you prefer complexity over simplicity then this is the game for you.

I've been playing it for 3 years now and I can say there is not one game like this anywhere. It's the most intricate and versatile sandbox out there.
Gamer.Rex2013-10-29 21:27:17
(imho) The disconnect between those who love EVE and those who, er, not so much, is due to a failure on CCP's part to manage expectations. Specifically, EVE is not a game: It' a simulation. And by that I don't mean a simulation game, because it's not a game, if you must, it's a simulation simulation.
Those who love it are - by and large - going to be the same folks who engoyed SimCity (the original, no bloody A,B,C, or D).
Now it's a very pretty and (to those whose eyes light up at the steady drip fed accumulation of non-points aka ISK) perhaps an addictive simulation. Just don't expect there to be any game here and you'll be fine.
I have to say, on CCP's part, the skill points being linked to real time - solely and strictly time - is genius: You don't earn experience points (or the equivalent) through activity or anything you can possibly do "in world", you get them as a direct stipend and at a fixed rate for for paying continuous subscription fees.
Normally you have to sell farm supplies on facebook to so callously link real world cash to character capability.
KA2013-12-20 06:59:04
Alot of uninformed and wrong information here from people that are too quick to judge.
Erin Eldrich2013-12-25 02:03:23
Hmm played eve since red moon rising....Stopped about a year ago.. Eve is a basic game of rock paper sissors...complex not really....Speadsheets with pretty pictures..you can make it as complex as you want but its really all in your head....Sandboxes are like that. I played for years because of the people in my corps on TS...they made it fun...Try playing Eve without some sort of VOIP...With 2 account you can play for free....Just not really worth the time... case in point...all the parts for a PVP tengu in system spread over 3 bases...40 min spent flying between bases to assemble...fun...
Truth 2014-02-05 11:43:12
If WoW were like Eve;
There would be a few safe cities and everywhere else pvp . The entire world would be a desert and you could only travel and fight along the roads in between the cities. There would be no story line or quests that had any substance. Every time you died you'd lose all your armor and some skill points . Resource harvesting would be from a rock- no other types , and all rocks would look the same .
Groups of players would roam along the roads looking to kill and loot other players(because there is nothing else to do)

Eve isn't complicated or difficult - it's poorly organized and tedious ..... Purposely tedious . It's as if your single greatest accomplishment in this game is sticking with it for so long
Jackson2014-03-09 14:38:36
The eve community is one of the worst. All you need to do is see the sycophants that follow the self appointed "lord" of eve the so called Mittani. This bell end was the chairman of the sham called the CSM and openly told the playerbase at fanfest and effectively the world (as it was live streamed) to grief a particular player into suicide.
Eve blows2014-06-20 11:33:15
The eve community is quite possibly the worst collection of self-obsessed,entitled, narcissistic morons I've ever met. If I wanted to play with a bunch of entitled and borderline autistic children, I'd pick up Call of Duty. On the upside, at least it keeps all these people that keep calling themselves brilliant strategic minds in their mother's basement.

If every EVE player came down with fatal Ebola infection I could forever sleep soundly knowing a sect of the lowest scum of society had been utterly wiped out.
KA is uninformed 2014-06-20 11:36:28
"Alot of uninformed and wrong information here from people that are too quick to judge."

I'm sorry that we judge you for playing with the equiv to a piece of poo and a stick.
What you make it...2014-08-08 16:18:34
I have to agree with Gamer.Ex, it that I don't consider EvE a game, and that changes how one views and uses it. I'm no EvE fan boy, coming and going over the years, but I have found ways to enjoy it. It most circumstances, it's been doing so with others w/VOIP. Can't say I've ever had much fun by myself. Even though it can be manic (bouts of extreme adrenalin only matched by periods of boredom), there's always SOME WAY to SIMULATE something. If I want to be a bad guy, I can be, if I want to manipulate markets, I can...If I want to try corporate espianage, I can... If I just want to pew pew NPCs, I can... If I just want to auto-mine 'roids while reading a book, I can... and sadly, if I'm an infantile who gets off robbing/griefing/annoying people of their hard earned ships and isk, I also can. I've lived in high-sec, null-sec, and class 6 wormholes... there is pros & cons to all. It's what you make of it, because EvE's devs sure as hell aren't going to simple give you prepackaged fun.
EVE Sucks2015-01-23 12:52:38
I am a wanted player now. 600,000.00 ISK on my head. And you ask what did I do. Well I did not kill anyone. I asked a question on the help channel. And had some dumb ass put a bounty on me for the fun of it. After spending to much money and one month later. I have come to the conclusion that this is a game well suited for gang members, drug dealers and criminals. And all the vulgar language. EVE players are the most fouled mouth players I have ever played with. Watch for my video I am making where I take a flame thrower to my collectors edition of EVE. And rip pages out of there book and wipe my ass with them. Hope the dream I had comes true. The volcano on Iceland erupted and covered EVE in 40 feet of ash. During fan fest. Want a great game for your teens to Play. STAR TREK ONLINE.
EVE...to much and not enough2015-05-10 17:03:44
Its bad... I love strategy games, space, all of it. But this game is rally bad. When you have to play a game for 2 weeks to a month till it starts getting fun, IMO thats stupid. I gave it a shot for awhile but there is no point.Now if you like mining and studying a text book to understand and start a game, that will then progress slow, with a horrible battle interface, then this game will be for you. When starting this game is does not explain anything. "click here" "click there" thats all you get. The only reason I lasted as long as I did is because there was a player nice enough to help me out and explain a few things to me. If you want to spend your LIFE playing EVE then you will love this game, and probably have fun. If not don't waste your time or money. I met a guy who loves EVE he also logged over 7,000 hours. That is playing 291 days with out sleep. If you want to do that for this game then its for you.
Russell2015-12-09 13:54:51
I agree, EVE is shitty and I regret playing this game.
Towey692015-12-09 13:55:15
Bruh EVE fucking sucks
Big Russ2015-12-09 13:55:29
Seriously EVE is trash
eve sucks dicks2016-04-19 13:43:57
I played EVE on and off for five years before i finally realized how shitty this steaming pile of garbage CCP calls and excuse for a game is. The player community is the worst group of autistic man-children i ever had the misfortune of meeting and the gameplay is so boring that I've had more fun staring at trees and clouds in actual games like Fallout 4 or Farcry. Ih yay lets shoot some more tiny icons because CCP cant design exciting space combat!!
Clearwater2016-04-23 17:40:16
Right off the gate in hi-sec a Macherial bumped my Charon 200km off the gate and held it, prevented it from aligning. I dc'ed and it would not warp off. Fleet came in as I watched from another account and destroyed it. In hi-sec. Unsubbed. The game is about ruining other peoples game play. You have to give an API key to join any worthwhile Corp, which is basically giving them permission to spy on you.
Sucks2016-11-12 00:42:45
Good concept. Reminded me a little of Tradwares. But it wasn't any fun to play. The EVE community is essentially 10,000 griefers with nothing better to do than gate camp all day. This is a horrible game primarily because it has a horrible community.
Grend3l2016-11-18 03:13:33
I wouldn't call it playing. Joined one nullsec corp after another throughout four years of it and I utterly regret every second wasted on it. It was endless hours of putting up with the drudgery of hauling mining containers or sitting at a random gate waiting for poor bastards to come though. None of the epic battles nor political intrigue you see in the hype. It's day after day of working your arse off for no forseeable gain. And as for the community, I'm sure there are many others who would have a lot of unsavoury things to say about it.


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